\ Stargazer’s Guide to 2013 | Columbia University Scientists and Engineers for a Better Society

Stargazer’s Guide to 2013

It’s relaxing, out-of-this-world, and best of all, free. Stargazing is an simple enough activity for everyone to enjoy, yet there’s a lot of science behind the predictions of the celestial movements. Whether you’re an seasoned veteran of stargazing or just a curious student who’s pulling yet another all-nighter, 2013 is the perfect year to start looking up into the skies.

One major event to look out for the “Comet of the Century,” a newly discovered comet approaching in 2013 that may become the one of the brightest in history. According to Time Magazine, in August the comet will be close enough to form a halo in the sky. While you may have heard about the “Comet of the Century”, you may not have known about the other celestial happenings this year. In fact, Comet PANSTARRS is expected to have an appearance during March, according to Space.com. This comet will be visible during March 10 – 24, just in time for those late nights during midterm season!

Image from http://www.space.com/19062-best-stargazing-events-2013.html

Although there is a partial lunar eclipse and a solar eclipse happening this year as well, these two events will be difficult to see in North America. However, this summer, get out your lawn chairs for those stargazing in the summer nights! On June 23, the moon will be huge as it comes to its closest point to the Earth, and a meteor shower on August 12 will have a spectacular show. For more information and tips about viewing meteor showers, visit Earthsky.org.